It appeared at last month's New York Comic-Con, and then again in last week's DC superhero comics. Later, an easy-to-read version showed up as part of an interview with DC Comics head honcho Dan DiDio over the weekend. I'm talking about the whiteboard of doom. This is DC's latest attempt to tease fans with hints of what's to come in the next year or so. Having trouble telling your JSA from your JLA on the whiteboard, and wondering what it all means? We'll try and make some sense of it all, under the jump.
The board - a callback to a subplot from DC's successful 52 series - is made up of multiple phrases or, weirdly enough, math problems that tie into already-announced, rumored or completely unknown stories for Superman, Batman and their (super) friends. Some of them are obvious:
Submit and Resist are both titles tied in with the upcoming Final Crisis storyline, as already announced by DC. Same with Evil Won (Final Crisis taking place after evil has apparently beaten good in that traditional never-ending battle), First Boy/Last Boy (Crisis will, according to writer Grant Morrison, start with Anthro, the first boy on Earth, and end with Kamandi, the last boy on Earth), Girlfight (Morrison has promised a fight between Supergirl, the teen girl personification of all things good, and Mary Marvel, newly-appointed pin-up girl for evil) and Loneliness + Alienation + Fear + Despair + Self Worth (etc.), which is one possible version of "the Anti-Life Equation," DC's mythical way to remove free will in people (This version appeared in Morrison's 2006 Mister Miracle series, which has been named multiple times as the key book to read before Final Crisis).
Equally clear are Best Woman For Job - A Man, which ties into this summer's Wonder Woman storyline where it's decided that Wonder Woman has failed in her mission to bring peace to the world and needs to be replaced with a man called The Olympian; 1,000/3 = 1, a reference to Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, which brings three different worlds of 1000 years in the future together; You Can Go Home Again, tying into this summer's Justice Society of America Annual, which takes Power Girl back to a version of her home planet, Earth 2; I Am Batman?/I Am Bruce Wayne?, about Wayne's identity crisis in Batman: R.I.P.; The Dead Shall Rise, the already-announced tagline of next year's The Blackest Night storyline; and Sightings All Around Us, which is a shout-out to DC's new "Sightings" branding for declared-important comics.
Everything else, though, is a little more shaky - 52 - 1 = 0 could be about DC's 52 alternate Earths, or simply pointing to last week's DC Universe Zero. Kings Reborn may be a reference to the potential return of the original Aquaman, who was, after all, King of Atlantis, and Rockin' Robins just might be about which Robin gets to become the new Batman. But the other ones...? Here are our entirely baseless guesses:
100% Alien - Something to do with the rumored death of 1950s alien-amongst-us, the Martian Manhunter.
Who is Wonder Dog? - Well, it used to be Rex, Nazi-fightin' pup, but for some reason, I'm seeing a Wonder Woman tie-in here...
There is No-One... Yet - Probably a Final Crisis mention of some sort, as is He Is The Force (The "astro-force" being a Jack Kirby invention as is Crisis badguy Darkseid) and He Wakes The World Ends.
The Son Rises - I'll be very surprised if this isn't a reference to Damien, Batman's bastard son, in the wake of Batman R.I.P.. Same with Murder/Suicide, Father/Son, although that one could also apply to Final Crisis villain Darkseid and his good guy son Orion.
The Traitor Among Us - Who better to have traitors (and, for that matter, an "us") than a gang of villains? It's either something to do with Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge or Gail Simone's new Secret Six series.
No 2 For You is more than likely another Power Girl/Earth-2/Justice Society of America Annual reference, as PG has to end up back on regular Earth in time to launch her own series this summer, but 1 (JSA) 2 probably has more to do with the team's rumored break-up this summer.
Mercy Ruling and Who Questions the Question are both very likely to have something to do with Greg Rucka's Final Crisis: Revelations series, where God's spirit of retribution, the Spectre, meets lesbian private eye the Question.
TT Have No Reception reminds us all that there isn't a Teen Titans cartoon any more. Or, perhaps, that the Titans comic will be spinning off something called Terror Titans this Summer, about some unpopular teenage badguys... whereas Titans, the other TT-spinoff book is dealing with the eeeevil reborn Trigon, who just may be 4 Times As Red in his new incarnation.
No Glory No Gold seems to be a shout-out to the Booster Gold series in some way, while Paper Not Plastic feels suspiciously like a reference to a revived Plastic Man for some reason... Better than Rocket Vs. Satellite, which suggests that the JLA's spacebound headquarters is soon not going to be alone up there.
The last two, however, are just weird: Superman: Red or Blue? is, I hope, hints that we'll finally investigate Superman's political preference (Let's face it; he's an Obama man. You know it, I know it, it's pretty obvious) instead of rehash the old Superman-gets-split-in-two storyline we've seen at least twice before, and I am convinced that Post No Bills is there purely to fuck with us.
But now that we've put ourselves out there, why don't you tell us what you think the board is all about? We shouldn't be the only ones embarrassed about how off-base our suggestions are this time next year, after all.
Dan DiDio on DC Universe #0 [Newsarama]